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We're with Nobody: Two Insiders Reveal the Dark Side of American Politics
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We're with Nobody: Two Insiders Reveal the Dark Side of American Politics

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  342 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
We're With Nobody is a thrilling, eye-opening insider’s view of a little-known facet of the political campaign process: the multi-million dollar opposition research industry, or “oppo” as it’s called.  For sixteen years authors Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian have been digging up dirt on political candidates across the country, from presidential appointees to local schoo ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
The other day I saw some “shocking revelation” on CNN—something about how while Wendy Davis had been single, a mother, attended school, and lived in a trailer park in front of which she was pictured for a commercial, but that she only lived in that trailer park for two weeks before she got re-married, and blah blah blah... I don't remember the specifics because all I could think of was who bothers to figure this sh*t out?!? The answer to that question is: these guys.

Turns out they're called opp
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012reads
I also finished reading Blood, Bones and Butter recently and feel similarly about both books in some ways, though BB&B got 4 stars for quality of writing. Memoirs with interesting content, good framing and context, that hit a weird point where they needed more structure. The thing about memoir is plot: what do you do when you closer to now? How to abridge everything that's fresh? That's more about BB&B, but here, I felt like these guys' editor needed to have a sit down and revisit the st ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed learning about oppo research from two insiders. That said, I think this book had trouble defining itself. Chapters alternated between the two author's points of view. There were many personal stories, and those led into expositions on politics and politicians. I wish the authors had asked themselves "who are we writing this for, and what do we want to accomplish/say with this book?".

Overall, though, it was an easy read and very interesting to someone like me who had a minimal un
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very interesting insiders' stories from the truth seekers and dirt diggers, who do the actual leg work of digging up the facts, supported with actual documentation, in the labyrinth of county, state, and federal offices armed only with the public information act. Telling on the way politics works, the ways it's shifting, and often reads like some noir PI on the trail of that one piece of paper that will spring the case wide open... after dodging disgruntled record's clerks, surviving reading min ...more
Apr 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Written by two journalists-turned-political-opposition researchers, Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian, the book recounts their work digging up information on politicians, from US Senate hopefuls to local school board candidates.

The men tell their story in alternate chapters, but the gist of it is that they travel to local government offices to gather information that is supposed to be available to anyone who asks, i.e. voting records, tax records, court documents, etc. One big take-away from thi
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
The Positives: two guys who have 'muck-raked' do not name names but tell stories that had me alternately amused and stunned. Yes, they're right when they say it's all about the quality of character. If a guy has a history of bad financial dealings, he probably isn't the guy you want to hear talking about balancing budgets or being in charge of the Fed. I also appreciated the introspection that they do on admitting that their job can be construed negatively. No mention of Gloria Allred either.

Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. Opposition research isn't about hiding behind trench coats and finding that silver bullet that brings down the opposing (or your own!) candidate. It's a lot of hard work in dirty basements, slogging through piles of papers, dealing with cranky employees and lots of research.

I think they captured that aspect really well--that it's not about being sneaky and it's rare to get a thing like the 400 John Edwards haircut or a George Allen "macaca" quote. It's about cr
Lukas R
Feb 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: american-history
"We're with Nobody" tells the story of two oppo-guys (short for opposition researcher). An somewhat unusual job which consist of being hired by a political candidate to research the opponent, to dig up all the good and bad, so that the campaign can use it, for example for attack adds. The two authors have done this for about 20 years now, previously being newspaper journalists, they also have worked for politicians.

If you expect a thrilling tell all political bomb you will be disappointed. Rare
Jamie Ratliff
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really expected more from this book, and I wish I could have given it a higher rating. The idea of the book was very interesting to me. I was hoping for an in-depth look at opposition research, but I felt like the information conveyed could have been condensed into essay form. There was just too much fluff, and the book seemed to meander here and there without really saying a lot.

It also seemed like the authors were constantly patting themselves on the back. In one way or another they'd find a
Jun 23, 2012 rated it liked it
An easy read and an interesting insight into the world of opposition research. They didn't get into any real dirt on politicians, which probably helped the book - kept it from just becoming a mud slinging tool. I'm sure that their reputations would be impacted if they went around leaking everything they have ever found. Worth the read to have a better understanding in how the political system works and why simply searching the internet isn't good enough if you want to really find out who politic ...more
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it
This was just OK. I think the parts I liked the best were the observations on our current use of information, data and facts in the political sphere. Maybe because each chapter was written by one or the other author, it felt a little disjointed. I didn't need any kind of narrative pathway, but I walked away thinking, "Hmmm, what was your motivation here." It was interesting but I don't know that I would tell people that they just had to read this. I think a more critical/deconstructionist contri ...more
Dave/Maggie Bean
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
The authors' politics are entirely too left-leaning for my tastes. Having admitted that, though; I must admit that I loved the book. Huffman and Rejebian admit their biases, a rarity these days. A+ for honesty. Better still, their research methods are as solid as Gibraltar -- and very, very useful. As a freelancer, I can confirm that Huffman's advice (ch. 9)is worth the price of the book.

Best of all, _We're With Nobody_ is written in a style both anecdotal and reflective. Investigative reporters
Jeremy Ward
May 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I had somewhat high hopes for this book, but I mostly found it dull and repetitive. Here is a summary:

Opposition researchers are people who look up public records to find information that could be potentially damaging to a political candidate.
Typically, these people are hired to look into the opposition, but sometimes they'll research their own candidates.
Public records offices sometimes employ difficult people who make it a hassle for the oppo researchers to get the files they seek.

Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Mildly interesting and surprisingly moral book about the life of a poltiical opposition researcher. Well, two lives, actually. It was fun but a) I wish it dug more dirt, and b) I wish it named names, of course. They don't. You should know that. They take a moral stand saying names don't matter, and that their clients pay them for the info so the clients get it. I guess that's fine. But maybe talk about the better-known events? Things like Jon Edwards or Gary Hart? I dunno. I felt like it kept le ...more
Interesting concept, but poor on the delivery. The book alternates between the two insiders and their tales. While I didn't expect an expose on what they know on who ... I expected more than why they ended up in the business of opposition research. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if they had shared techniques or anonymous adventure.

I am sorry to say that I just can't recommend this book for insight. While well written, it just doesn't tell the stories that it promises to tell.
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it

A really good book that reiterates the sad state of political campaigning in our country - be it at the local level or at the federal level. Some of the salient points are
1. Negative ads are about impact, recollection, reinforcement, changing minds and getting people to the polls.
2. People who watch and remember negative ads are more likely to vote.
3. The connection between the truth and the ad that it begat is tenuous at best.

Best quote in the book is from Seinfeld where George says 'it is not
Julie Bakey
Mar 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: history-politics
You might be thinking that this book is filled with juicy stories about corrupt politicians, and if that's the case, you'll be mostly disappointed. The authors do share some stories, but never name names (though you can sometimes guess who they are referring to). Mostly the two authors reflect on the current state of our political system, and the status of truth in political campaigning. It is pretty interesting, and worth a read if the subject appeals to you.
Karen Carlson
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Disappointing. I think this would have been better as an article - the valuable information included is diluted with repetitious and less relevant material. Detailed comments posted on A Just Recompense.
Apr 03, 2012 added it
Some useful information about how political operatives gather dirt on the opposition, but since the authors refuse to reveal specifics about which campaigns and candidates they worked on, the book has a blurry feel to it. Wish they'd risked providing some more dirt themselves--even if it would have gotten them in trouble, and perhaps even jeopardized their political careers,it would have made this book a lot more interesting.
Feb 20, 2012 rated it liked it

The authors don't name names but they offer an interesting peek behind the curtain of political campaigns. Clever and witty (2 of my favorite things).

The authors deal with the facts of candidates lives. They don't control what happens to it after they hand it over, so don't blame them for those crap political ads

I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in our political process
Debby Allen
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
These guys are reporters, right? So maybe they should stick to x column inches, rather than full chapters in a book. The information is interesting, the first time stated. But by the third, fifth, nth I get it already. I understand their reluctance to name names, and I also get that when they get called off an investigation, they drop it. But that makes for not compelling, unfinished, vague stories. Potential, but the potential is not realized.
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it
content was interesting but their decision not to name names got in the way of their narratives, since they are mostly based on shadowy or poorly defined characters. also, the book flips inconsistently back and forth between campaign trail stories and ideology / defending their work. quick read, though, and good for anyone interested in learning more about negative campaigning or oppo research.
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I rarely read non-fiction but I heard these guys on NPR and was intrigued so I bought the book. It was really interesting. Opposition research is often referenced but rarely discussed and I'd never heard it explained with such detail. I was once a speech writer. It's a special job. You either loved it or hated it. I loved it. Opposition research seems much the same way. These guys love it so you get a special window to see how it works.
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
The book gave a lot of information about being an opposition researcher through anecdotes. They didn't name any names and some places seemed redundant. The writing is excellent. There's no glory to doing what they do and they try to stay out of the spotlight. This book taught me that politics is an ugly place where campaigns will do almost anything to win.
Lauren Bishard
Feb 21, 2012 rated it liked it
This wasn't the tell-all I had expected, but it was really cool to learn about the process of researching candidates. At the same time, it is disappointing to think of how campaigns use "opposition research" (a collection of actual FACTS! in politics!) in perverted, roundabout ways to destroy their opponents' reputations.
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
Well-done synopsis of the collection side of political research. It's not the kind of book I every expected to be able to read. The authors know their craft, and they give you their perspective very skillfully and thoughtfully. This could have easily been another book which would have been awful to read, but instead it was easy and fun and interesting. Well done.
Apr 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: political
The authors of this book are political opposition researchers. It was interesting to read about their methods for finding "dirt" on candidates. Their description of the political scene in Salt Lake City was especially fascinating to me since I used to live there. Overall, however, though short, this book was a little bit of a slow read.
Feb 06, 2013 rated it liked it
A most important topic: what is opposition research in politics? The authors write well enough and they're interesting people. Unfortunately, though, and for legitimate reasons, they don't really divulge all that much about the people they investigated. I wish there was more truth-telling about real politicians. Still, it's a side of politics that more people should better understand.
This was a good book for those with political interests. It is well written and an easy read. It provided me good insight into a part of politics I really wasn't familiar with...the opposition researchers role in American politics. The authors don't name names, but they do give enough information where if one was so inclined one could identify the candidates.
Harry Rubenstein
Mar 24, 2012 rated it liked it
I saw this duo on The Daily Show and their story sold me on the book. I have to say that my expectations were not really met. While the job of an opposition researcher sounds interesting in theory, it is actually kind of boring. I respect the fact that the authors didn't name names, but it did make it a less interesting read. Enjoyed it, but not as much as I would have liked to...
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“Truth becomes a relative and disputable term in the alternate reality of partisan politics” 3 likes
“They were following me because I was ahead of them, which is no way to choose a leader. Following someone simply because they're out in front is never a good idea, but it happens all the time.” 3 likes
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